During a one-day summit to commemorate the 2017 World Cancer Day with the theme, “Attack Cancer Today” the Executive Secretary, CECP-Nigeria, Dr. Abia Nzelu has said that four Mobile Cancer Centres (MCCs), valued at N1.2 billion, are to be deployed nationwide by the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy, CECP-Nigeria, in partnership with the National Cancer Prevention Programme (NCPP). The development is in-line with the commitment to facilitate early detection and treatment of cancer in Nigeria. The delivery of the four MCCs is being expected around May-June this year. “NCCP has been involved with the big war against cancer in Nigeria and the aim is to get MCCs that will go to the grassroots. Now the first set of MCCs has been ordered with each costing about N300 million considering the current exchange rate. “They are being manufactured right now and hopefully by May –June they should be here and will be positioned to cover the four old regions with Lagos representing the West, Port Harcourt representing the East, Abuja representing the North and Asaba representing the Mid-west.”
Nzelu has explained that the four selected states will serve as pilot while as more support are coming, more MCC will be acquired to cover more states as the whole idea was to have one MCC per state. “When it finally arrives, the impact will be enormous because the MCC is a means of having holistic preventive cancer care and not just that, but health promotion generally. Further, Nzelu has explained that carrying out awareness and screening is not complete without treatment, which gives the MCC a comparative advantage has it can diagnose and offer treatment. “If a woman is screened and has a breast lump that can be taken care of right inside the mobile centre, it can also care for diseases like diabetes, hypertension, eye disorders, and hepatitis all of which are also related to cancer. Liver cancer is related to hepatitis B and C. So if you can pick up people that have hepatitis early, or prevent it by giving them vaccines you have reduced the risk of liver cancer.”
She has said that arrangement has been made with the manufacturing company for maintenance. “They have representatives in Nigeria that will maintain the mobile units with trained Nigerian personnel.” “We have some people who can avoid screening but to spare time and go for screening is difficult. With the MCC, the awareness and diagnose will be taken to their door step to avoid late detection which is dangerous. The key to survive cancer is early detection.” “Early cancer is not painful but that is a stage at which you can treat it. A woman in the market can take advantage of it. Another key thing is that there will be a set of personnel attending to the whole community.” “In United State, they have about 2,000 MCC and when Harvard Medical School carried out a study they found out that for every $1 spent on MCC, they save $20.”

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